Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rhubarb-Apricot Oatmeal Muffins

These have become my muffin of choice these days, as my ability to make perfect plain muffins seems to have evaporated. When I first started making muffins from any book but the Joy of Cooking, all the recipes seemed too buttery and too cakey. These Apricot Oatmeal Muffins from the Curtis & Schwartz cookbook are buttery to the point of squashy, but not too sweet, and they always look beautiful because of the way the sugar is added at the last minute. Today, I added a little rhubarb to the dried apricots. Here is my slightly tweaked version of the recipe.

Apricot Oatmeal Muffins
adapted from the Curtis & Schwartz cookbook
makes 12 muffins

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit.
Poaching Mix:
# 3/4 cup dried apricots (or other fruit of your choice. dried fruits work best, if using fresh, skip the poaching and add a little lemon zest or the spices of your choice to the batterHalf an orange, cut up
# 1 cinnamon stick
# 2 whole cloves
To poach apricots, place them in a small pot with the orange, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Cover the fruit with water and simmer until they are soft but not mushy, no more than 5 minutes. Drain, cool, and chop. Discard the orange and cinnamon.

Wet Mix:

* 2 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
* 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
* 6 oz unsalted butter

Combine the first three wet ingredients in a bowl and stir. Let sit 15 mins to 1/2 hour. Melt the butter and add it to the wet mix. Add the chopped fruit.

Dry Mix:

* 1 3/4 cups flour (i used whole wheat pastry flour from Wild Hive)
* 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 3/4 tsp baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the dry ingredients and add to the wet mix after the fruit, mixing until just combined.
Sprinkle the batter with:

* 3/4 cup brown sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Gently blend the sugar mixture in, leaving streaks.
Fill a 12-cup greased muffin tin (filling cups full) and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway. Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing, they are very soft.

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